Thanks for your thoughts Jim.
Actually I avoid MS whenever reasonably feasible for a non-techy.* Use Firefox for browser. Only resort to IE when the website I want to use won't work properly with Firefox, or what I formerly used, Netscape. (E.g. I don't know if this is still a problem, but the Pacer program for federal courts wouldn't function for me unless I used IE.)
Interesting, after leaving that post last night the problem was fixed this am. The drop down menus now cover the ads (which are still there underneath--and frankly I'm not sure whether or not they were there all along. I try to ignore such things). Also, I started having trouble with the drop-down menus just prior to the ads taking over.
The ads in question are banner ads, e.g. "ads by Google" and include a video ad for some law firm (which I'll never want to patronize since having their loud red logo screamed in my face). I feel like the static ads have been there all along, but the screaming video (not literally audio screaming, just visually obnoxious) was new.
For an example, the current crop of ads at the top of this page include:
Get Free Patent Info Kit
Request Your Free Patent Kit Now. Get Real Success With Your Patent. www.InventionHome.com
Over 36 years experience. Staff available 24/7 by phone. www.invention.net
Another ad with those two highlighted a firm in my locale, so I presume these are working with tracking cookies. Have a hard time telling what cookies are necessary and which aren't. Alas.....
* Re MS: Am still upset that MS managed to get "windows" registered as a trademark. Believe it should have been shot down as an existing generic term. Was used at least as early as 1981 by an early CPM wordprocessing program called -- I believe -- Perfect Writer to refer to (guess what) "windows", which windows permitted you to view two different wordprocessing files simultaneously and toggle back and forth between them, as I recall.